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This is the place.. > Case Studies – Curtis


This is the place where Curtis learned his trade


Curtis Finlay, 24, from Dalmarnock is a joiner and carpenter with City Building’s Housing Association Repairs & Maintenance Team. Curtis began his 4-year apprenticeship when he left school, aged 18.


“I stayed on at school until I was 18, mainly because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left. I liked woodwork and making things, so when a friend told me about this apprenticeship I thought I’d give it a bash. It was quite an easy transition from school, as in first year we would spend 2 or 3 weeks out on site at a time, followed by a few weeks in college.


At the start of the apprenticeship I learned lots about health and safety, and had loads of training on hand skills and how to use tools properly. When I was on site, I mainly watched my tradesman at first, to see how things should be done. I then moved on to helping with tasks like fitting kitchen units and putting on doors. At college there was a lot of hands-on stuff as well as written work, and I was taught things like how to make wood joints, windows, stairs and partitions, and how to box in a bath.


Now I am fully qualified, I have my own van and each morning I am given a list of jobs for the day. These can be anything from fitting doors to wet walling a bathroom or fitting new worktops, something different every day – I like that.


The apprenticeship has been great, not just from a work point of view but it means I can get things done in my own house, and can help my friends and family with jobs that they need done! The skills I have learned mean I can move around, work anywhere in the world if I want to – they open a lot of doors. A few of my former classmates even have their own businesses now.


The best thing about my job is the satisfaction of completing something and being able to say “I did that!” People often tell me I am really good at my job, and that’s good enough for me.


I recently applied to study towards a HNC in building surveying and I was accepted, so I have just started my course. I would like to work my way up and become a manager, as when I’m an older guy I don’t want to be running about mad like I do now!


The only thing I would change about my apprenticeship is that I would have started it sooner – some of my classmates were 16 when they began.”